Ah, the late noughties. Those glorious times of blog-based music hypes, self-designed MySpace Pages, free Soundcloud Downloads without caring much about copyright violations. It’s kind of weird that you tend to find nostalgia and comfort in times that aren’t that far gone these in these accelerated times. Remember what life was like 8 years ago? It’s not a lifetime, certainly and in the case of Joseph Mount, naming his fifth album Summer 08 was less a nostalgic and more a fun thing. It’s an ode to the last summer he literally had off before becoming a fulltime musician. ‘Pretty soon after I said that I realized it was wrong and the ‘Summer of ’07’ was actually the last one I had off,’ he explains NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION when we met the METRONOMY mastermind for a joyful small talk.
It’s not just a name here, the whole spirit of the new METRONOMY record recalls the spirit of their acclaimed breakthrough album Nights Out which was – of course – released back in 2008. ‘It’s not that I miss that time or anything,’ explains Mount, ‘but I remember it as the beginning of what brought me here.’ And a lot of people still associate the sound of Mount’s band with those early days and tracks like Radio Ladio and A Thing For Me. The curly-haired lad just decided to visit it again, combined with all the knowledge he gained in-between.
And what did we do? Exactly, visiting the summer of 2008 once again via its music. And while Mount himself listened to stuff like JUSTICE‘s 2007 debut back then, we wanted to find out what other memories and thoughts he had on those sound. Please find Mount’s opinions on 9 tracks from those glory times right here.
Metronomy – ‘Heartbreaker’
What a lovely song by a talented group. (laughs) I remember thinking this would become a huge hit and it actually become one but in his own little world. My interest has always been into pop music. The first album sounded the way it sounds because I wasn’t confident enough to write proper pop songs and start singing. When I started I was doing by my own on my computer, inspired by APHEX TWIN and DJ SHADOW. And I needed ‘The English Riviera’ and ‘Love Letters‘ and their professional studio sound to get me forward. I wanted ‘The English Riviera’ to sound so perfect because it was the first time I’ve been to a studio. And I wanted ‘Love Letters’ to be recorded purely analogue because I thought I’d never get the chance to do it. (laughs). Now, I’m just back at being relaxed on ‘Summer 08’. I understand the values of recording things in a certain way.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – ‘We Are Rockstars’
I told you that the purpose of ‘Summer 08’ isn’t to sound nostalgic but hearing this one really makes me feel that way a bit. I might have seen them live several times but I really can’t remember. (laughs) That was that whole Nu Rave movement back then and people tried to put us into that category as well and somehow it was really helpful as well.
Hercules And Love Affair – ‘Blind’
This is a really good tune, I must say; it started that disco revival. In many ways I think disco doesn’t need to be revived because it’s always been there. Disco became house music and house music .. well, has always been quite modern. The disco movement could probably go on forever.
Friendly Fires – ‘Jump In The Pool’
Oh my god, it’s the FRIENDLY FIRES. I almost forgot. They were a band I would’ve been very jealous of because they were very popular and wrote amazing tunes. We became a bit friends back then because they started around the same time as us. One of the things I witnessed in those past eight years are many bands who came and vanished again for multiple reasons. A main one is that they have too much expectations. And that might have happened with FRIENDLY FIRES and their second album. Maybe everybody told them it would be a huge success and it didn’t. And partly these things also happen due to relationships within the band. I’m happy that we have that mature and good relationship within the band. It’s very healthy.
MGMT – ‘Kids’
I remember being very jealous of that song because it’s such a great and massive pop tune. Then they released their second album which was way less pop and I just thought: ‘How fucking rude and disrespectful to their fans!’ When you make such a big pop record and suddenly become very successful through it you can’t suddenly turn around and say: ‘You don’t understand us. We are not pop!’ I’m really happy that METRONOMY didn’t have that big problem. If I had been in a similar situation I would have been way more careful with my next move. 99% of the people who are doing music will fail. You should always be humble and understand that you are in a fragile position. I never took anything for granted.
The Presets – ‘This Boy’s In Love’
They are really big in Australia. I remember playing with them a few times in those golden days. Didn’t had this one on my radar but it deserves a bit more attention, indeed.
Kanye West – ‘Love Lockdown’
I think KANYE WEST used to be really interesting and he’s not anymore. He’s kind of an intelligent guy but I just don’t understand his motivation to become famous for the sake of being famous. He wants to be MICHAEL JACKSON without doing something for it. He still does interesting music but he’s been really screwed by KENDRICK LAMAR alongside many other rappers. On the other hand, someone like KENDRICK would not be able to do what he’s doing without what KANYE achieved in the past.
CCS – ‘Move’ (Metronomy Remix)
I was actually listening to this not so long ago. Great one. I probably never listened to the original back then, I have to confess. I used to do these remixes by only working with the vocals and never listen to the original version. Unfortunately, CSS is another band that didn’t make it, I’m afraid.
Calvin Harris – ‘Dance Wiv Me’ (with Dizzee Rascal)
Oh god, it’s Calvin Harris. Again, this reminds me a bit of KANYE WEST and what I just said about him. I mean, what is he now? I know he’s a really nice person but I just don’t know. He must know that all he got is a huge amount of money and pretty much no integrity. I don’t think any amount of moneys could make me lose my integrity in a similar way. He’s doing Armani and Calvin Klein advertisement, right? Seriously! What I don’t understand is that his taste in music is obviously way better than the music he’s producing and he must know that.
I remember his debut album getting really bad reviews at The Guardian and he just went on that massive Twitter rampage about it. He tried to be credible but people didn’t react the way he expected it and then he just went: ‘Fuck it. I’m gonna be really rich instead’ in a really cynical way. You don’t need the next big thing. The industry wants it because it’s easy but for a lot of groups it doesn’t work out in the end. We were never the next big thing but still managed to make a career out of it. Same goes for a band like FOALS. People and bands need time to find their sound and just saying ‘you’re the next big thing’ just creates too much pressure.
Summer 08 by METRONOMY will be released on July 1 via Because Music.